If ever there was such a correct thing as wonders never ending, then this one is the wonder of the year: I called a senior government official sometime early this year using the so-called "tuvugane" telephone – the Rwandacell landline – and the gentleman did not answer his mobile phone.
Smelling a rat, I used another mobile handset and quick as a flash we were talking!
Then I called a minister on issues to do with his land – there were some squatters that had invaded and pitched camp there – but the minister refused to answer his phone. I used another and he picked. This time I was irritated enough to ask why they refuse to pick their phones, and he apologized but later told me that he was afraid it was someone in the village who was asking for help, and he did not have it.
The upshot of further conversation revealed that many "big" men do not answer "tuvugane" numbers or Terracom numbers because they are considered cheap; they are considered to be coming from needy relatives back in the villages, so they are better ignored!
This is very annoying. How can a whole honourable minister refuse to answer a phone call simply because it "tuvugane"? And I hear that is the reason why they own pre-paid numbers of 0830…, that when a call with such numbers registers, they scramble to answer it because these are the elite numbers! Pretty disgusting, if you ask me.
How can ministers who should be promoting such ICT developments, instead turn their noses down on them? If the prime minister reads this, I think he should make them – force them - to own the Terracom and "tuvugane" numbers. We do not want public officials who are show-offs and who do not consider the burden of maintaining them in office. Let us put up a campaign to expose whoever is like this, because this is anti-development.